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SPB-3: Will it cut?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SundanceChile, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Totally!

    20 vote(s)
  2. Not even.

    4 vote(s)
  1. So after reading thread, upon thread, upon thread about this pickup, it seems there's two camps for this pickup. Those who believe it cuts through the mix, and those who find it buried.

    I'm greatly confused as to how this is. :confused:

    So here I must ask, do you find your Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder cutting through in YOUR band mix? If so, how is it being used? Pick? Finger? Smiley EQ? Flat? Tone cut? Straight to jack? Inquiring minds want to know. :hyper:
  2. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    Well, all I can say is if it didn't have the potential to cut through loads of famous artists wouldn't use it in their signature and performance basses.

    People tend to forget that their effect chain, amp type, amp setting, speaker cab and mic type and placement all make a BIG difference to the tone they hear and how they fit in the mix. If you don't believe me plug into a Bass Pod Xt (RIP) and fiddle around for yourself.

    All hail the SPB-3!
  3. ronlitz


    Apr 20, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    I tried a Seymour Duncan quarter-pounder in my American Precision, and didn't like it at all. I'm playing hard rock and using a pick. With most p-bass pickups, I don't do much EQ - maybe boost a little low-mid (around 300Hz) - I never scoop the mids (that's where you get the tone to cut through the mix). IMO, a P-bass with a pick is a good choice for hard rock because the prominent mid-range of the P-bass with the crisp attack of the pick enables the bass tone to sit well in the mix and cut through to be heard. But the SPB-3 pickup has very little mid, and a lot of bottom, which doesn't cut throught at all. It doesn't necessarily sound *bad* - it's just a big-bottom no-mids tone - nice for country or blues or other styles where there isn't a wall of distorted guitar. It makes a p-bass sound like something other than a p-bass. To get this pickup to cut through a hard rock band, you have to tweak the EQ by cutting the bass and boosting the mids - in other words, undo what this pickup is doing - so why use it in the first place?
    I don't care how many artists claim to use this pickup - I trust my ears - and this is what I heard. This is the most over-rated, misunderstood pickup on the market.
  4. I've wanted a Bass Pod XT Live since they first came out. :crying:

    Funny, I've always been under the impression that P-basses tend to get buried in general in hard rock because they SIT in the mix rather then CUT. A half stack guitarist could easily bury most any bass without some serious volume coming out from the bass's end though. I've always considered a J bass to be more of the beast to cut through with a pick in hard rock. All IMO though. Out of curiosity, what is your rig, and where is the tone knob about set?
  5. ronlitz


    Apr 20, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    When I say a P-bass "Sits" well in the mix, I mean that it uses frequencies that cut through the mix.

    My tone knob is full-on. My rig isn't part of the equation - I go direct to the PA.

    I find it very difficult to talk about things like this without using examples, so here are some examples of songs with a mid-range heavy "P-bass type tone" sitting nicely in the mix in a hard-rock context:

    Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train (actually recorded with a Gibson EB-3 - but a good example of using mid-range to cut through the mix)

    Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane

    anything from Kiss Alive I (probably a Gibson Grabber - very mid-rangey)
  6. boamedt


    Jul 2, 2008
    Santa Rosa, Ca
    my quarter pounders cut through very well. and i know someone will flame me but my eq is set boosting lows at 50hz then mids are scooped and the highs are gone. but then again i play in a reggae band so highs are the enemy. but i have never had a problem with my sounds projection through the mix like this
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My Hoppus P doesn't have a tone knob. When I put round wounds on it, it was so trebley and clanky that I had to put a set of ground wounds on it. I've found that with a set of brite flats the SPB-3 PUP both thumps and cuts.

    My impression of the SPB-3 is this: It's one hotass mutha! No lack of output on these babies! The low is LOW. Great bottom end! The high end of the spectrum is also very well represented. The classic P bass midrange seems to be rather scooped. You can get around that with the tone controls on your amp however.

    I say they do indeed cut, but perhaps bite is a better descriptor.
  8. Talk to the sound man? :confused:

    I'm familiar with the bass tones you describe, and IMO it seems like the reason the bass is cutting/sitting/getting heard in the mix in your examples is because the guitarist isn't going anywhere near the bass sound spectrum. I think that the Scorpions' bass tone is very much the P-bass tone I'm used to hearing, but compared to today's hard rock, the guitar is staying mostly in the higher part of EQ land. I find that today's modern rock focuses more on guitar parts with a much fuller tone, coupled with poor EQing buries us poor bassists. My .02
  9. ronlitz


    Apr 20, 2008
    Northern Virginia

    I couldn't agree with you more! If you have a couple of overdriven guitars that have scooped mids and a lot of low frequencies dialed in, the bass gets buried - and there's not much that can be done about it. If you try to "cut" through the mix by boosting some high freqs, you'll just click and sound like Fieldy (yuck!). IMO, the solution is to get the guitars out of the low frequency range and let the bass do what it's supposed to do.
  10. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    Great pickups......you will be able to cut through the mix....you just gotta know how to eq your amp.
  11. therex


    Jun 24, 2007
    the right key things is EQ, QPs are awesome IME but they tend to cut way better with rounds, they dont sound so good to me with flats, also QPs are high output and that creates some bad drive in some cheap amps i tried, like a peavey, not sure wich model but no matter what my bass create some clipping in that amp while a stock p bass did not

    also talk with your guitarrist, they seem to believe that the same tone that sounds good with just guitar will sound good with a full band, thats something i like about my current guitarrist, our tones sound like a big wall of sound instead of a competition for space
  12. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I use my QP P with flats. Sounds great and I'd never change that bass. I have no problem with the QP overdriving any amp. I can always turn the volume down on my bass.

    There are some really strange ideas circulating about these pickups, and I think mostly coming from people who have very little experience with them.

    In my 78 P bass I find it to be very versatile and suitable for many styles of music. I like the sound better than the original pickup and also better than a Dimarzio I also tried in that bass.

    People who have played my bass and know nothing about the various pickups on the market just comment that it's a very nice sounding P bass.

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